Bartholin's Cyst - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST
Bartholin’s Cyst: Basic Overview
Bartholin’s Glands are a pair of glands which are located on either side of the vaginal opening. These glands are responsible for secreting the fluid which lubricates the vagina. Often, the opening of these glands becomes obstructed, which leads to the build up of the fluid back in the gland. This build-up results to the formation of a painless swelling known as the Bartholin’s Cyst. The fluid found inside the cyst tends to become infected and can lead to the formation of the pus around the inflamed tissue. Bartholin’s Cysts are very common amongst women of different age groups. The treatment option for these cysts depends upon the size of the cyst as well as the infection of the cyst. In many cases, home treatment proves to be quite useful. However, in other cases, surgical drainage of the cyst may be required. In case of infections, antibiotics have proved to be quite helpful.
Causes of Bartholin’s Cysts:
The cause for the formation of Bartholin’s Cysts is the accumulation of the fluid in the glands. These fluids accumulate when the opening to the gland becomes obstructed due to the growth of a flap of skin or due to an infection.
When the cyst becomes infected, it leads to the formation of an abscess. The bacterium often causes the infection. Common bacteria such as E. coli (Escherichia Coli) can cause Bartholin’s Cysts, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
Signs and Symptoms of Bartholin’s Cysts:
Often, the cyst remains small in size and does not show any signs or symptoms. However, the patient may feel the presence of a lump or a growing mass around the vaginal opening. When the cyst becomes infected, it can show the following symptoms:
- Tenderness or the presence of a painful lump around the vaginal opening
- Discomfort during walking or sitting
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Consistent fever
It is recommended to see your doctor if you feel the presence of a painful lump around your vaginal opening. If the pain is very severe, make an appointment with the doctor immediately.
Tests and Diagnosis for Bartholin’s Cysts:
In order to diagnose the occurrence of a Bartholin’s Cyst, the doctor may:
- Ask questions regarding your medical history
- Go for a Pelvic Exam
- Take down swipes or samples of your vaginal or cervical area in order to check for the presence of Sexually Transmitted Disease
- Go for a Biopsy in order to check for the presence of the cancerous cells. This test is done for women above the age of 40 or the ones that have hit menopause.
The doctor may refer you to a gynaecologist in case you suffer from a medical history of cancer.
Treatment and Drugs for Bartholin’s Cysts:
Often, there is no treatment required for Bartholin’s Cysts. However, the treatment option is greatly dependent on the size and the discomfort level of the cyst. The major treatment options are as follows:
- Sitx Baths: This includes sitting in a tub filled with warm water several times in a day. This treatment is recommended for women suffering from a small cyst. With this treatment option, the cyst ruptures and drains out on its own.
- Surgical Treatment: In certain cases, surgery is one of the major options in order to remove the cyst. Drainage of the cyst via surgery can be done with the help of anaesthesia or sedation. The doctor makes a small incision around the cyst in order to drain the fluid from the cyst.
- Antibiotics: These are prescribed if the testing reveals that the patient is also suffering from sexually transmitted disease. This treatment option allows the cyst to be drained with the help of the antibiotics.
- Marsupialization: This technique is used in patients who suffer from reoccurring cysts. During this procedure, the doctor places stitches all around the side of the incision. Then, a catheter is places around the incision in order to stop the reoccurrence of the cyst.